RELEGATION threatened Trowbridge started the new year with a bang on Saturday after mid-table Marlborough were downed 31-24 at Paxcroft in South West One (East).

Trowbridge’s win proved a timely one, particularly given that three of the region’s second tier teams currently placed in the bottom four also picked up helpful victories.

Marlborough were quickly up against things when Trowbridge scored from a penalty with only five minutes on the clock after benefitting from an unusually weak visiting scrum.

Scores were levelled when Marlborough’s Will Grant kicked a penalty with 10 minutes on the clock before Kane Marafono crossed the whitewash almost immediately after the restart – Grant confidently converted.

Grant’s kick proved to be his last contribution to the game, though, as he left the field with a shoulder injury.

Marlborough’s woes were added to when prop Ben Saga was sinbinned for repeat scrum penalties.

The hosts capitalised on their advantage by registering a converted try to equalise once more. Determined Marlborough re-established their seven-point lead by half-time though as Ovini Titoga scored a breakaway try.

Leading by seven points, Marlborough started the second half well. Daniel Jones registered a strong individual try to seemingly put a result out of Trowbridge’s reach with the score at 10-24.

But the visitors’ defence and decision making quickly deteriorated, and Trowbridge required no second invitation to take full advantage.

Marlborough’s 14-point lead quickly evaporated before Trowbridge added a match-winning fourth to move onto 23 points from 15 games.

As mentioned, victories Wimborne and Old Patesians denied Trowbridge any movement up the table as a result of their shock win.

However, they remain only two points from the division’s safety frame.

In other South West One (East) results, Chippenham suffered a surprise 24-22 defeat to Wimborne.

Chippenham remain fifth with 46 points secured from 15 games.